By Olasunkanmi Akoni
Following recent inquisition by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) into spending of local governments in Lagos, the Action Congress (AC) has accused the commission of pandering to the whims of the Peopleâ€™s Democratic Party (PDP) by allowing itself to be cajoled into intimidating the local councils in Lagos.
According to the National Publicity Secretary of AC, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the ICPCâ€™s curiously-timed request for vouchers and other documents from the Lagos councils, under a supposedly-routine systems review, is fishy.
â€œThe ICPC cannot pretend not to be aware of the ongoing controversy over the creation of the 37 Local Council Development Areas in Lagos State, and the threat by President Umaru Yarâ€™Adua to use the agencies of state to force a reversal to 20 councils in Lagos.
The commission is, therefore, engaging in some form of â€˜fishingâ€™ to be demanding payment vouchers and other documents from the councils at this time. We hope the ICPCâ€™s involvement is not as a result of the connection between a top official of the commission and a stalwart of the PDP in Lagos State, which is opposed to the creation of the new councils,â€ the party said.
It reminded the ICPC that its mandate was to investigate allegations of corruption and bribery, and wondered whether it had received such allegations before embarking on its â€˜fishingâ€™ expedition in Lagos.
â€œThe ICPC should remember what happened to the credibility of its sister-agency, EFCC, when its former head allowed himself to be used by the immediate past Federal Government to settle political scores. We also expect the Commission to be circumspect in being dragged into a political issue that has nothing to do with bribery and corruption, especially because its head is a well-respected jurist who has a reputation to protect,â€™â€™ AC said.
The party said the PDP-led federal government cannot obtain from the back door what it has failed to get through the front door, and insisted on its earlier call on the FG to go to court if it feels the creation of the 37 development authorities had infringed on the Constitution.
â€œPresident Yarâ€™Adua should not allow himself to be misled by his Attorney-General who obviously has his own agenda in seeking to put the federal government on a collision course with the Lagos state government over an issue that was settled a long time ago,â€™â€™ it said.
AC therefore advised Mr.. President not to allow the dirty politics of his party get in the way of governance, saying time is fast running out for him to show that his so-called seven-point agenda is not a fluke, package to hoodwink an unsuspecting public into believing something was being done to alleviate their suffering when indeed every thing has remains stagnant in the past two years.